iPhone, iPad users complain of overheating, battery drain after iOS 6 upgrade

John Cox
4 October, 2012
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Some iPhone users and bloggers are reporting that older iPhones updated to iOS 6 are draining their batteries much faster than before, and sometime heating up during or after recharging.

Based on posts at Apple’s online support boards and other online forums, it’s difficult to know what the cause or causes are, and how widespread the problem is. Yet the iPhone 5, with a bigger screen, LTE support, and a more powerful CPU seems to have excellent battery life. InformationWeek’s Eric Zeman noted the discrepancy as he was reviewing the newest iPhone. “Combined, these [new features] might have been a disaster for the iPhone 5′s battery life,” he wrote in a blog post this week. “Instead, the slightly larger battery in the iPhone 5 and the way the A6 processor handles iOS 6 means excellent power management.”

“But iOS 6 isn’t as friendly to the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 when it comes to battery life,” he writes. “I’ve installed iOS 6 on both the iPhone 4S and 4, and, have noticed, along with other users, that battery life has taken a pretty big hit on these older iPhones.”

At least a few users say they see similar battery life drops running iOS 6 on their iPads. According to one of Zeman’s commenters, Mike Schmidt, “Same here. I upgraded my iPhone 4 and my iPad 3 and both have very much reduced battery life. So much so, that I missed taking some more pics at the Ryder Cup yesterday in Chicago. I may go back to iOS 5 and hope the problem clears up.”

One discussion thread on Apple’s support boards, “iOS 6 iPhone 4s battery drain,” has had just over 130,000 views and nearly 900 comments. Another thread, “Is iOS 6 draining iPhone 4 battery faster?” has has almost 50,000 views and close to 300 replies.

“I’m using an iPhone 4S and with iOS 5 I had to recharge it every 2 days,” posted Vincentthu. “Since iOS 6 I need several recharge a day and my wi-fi is not working anymore (Greyed out – that’s another problem). My solution: Deactivate ‘cellular data’ and deactivate 3G. I removed GPS too and SIRI and all options are deactivated. Notifications are turned off. Now it’s better but my phone is as usefull as a Nokia from the 90′s.”

Some users are finding shockingly fast battery drains. “I updated to IOS 6 last night and my ip4 went from 36-48 hours between charges to draining completely and dying from 6:30am to 11am this morning, mostly just sitting in my pocket,” posted Thedjprice. “*** apple unacceptable. I used the device for roughly 30-45 minutes and the rest of the time it sat in my pocket.”

One common recommendation, often from Apple staff at the company’s retail stores or from other users online, was to reset one’s phone as a “new phone.” But that didn’t work for lcroke0002, who did it four times, twice at an Apple retail store, “all to no avail,” he posted. “I have run 3 battery cycles and turned off/on all types of apps (Apple and non-Apple). Battery and heat issues still exist.” On Sunday night, he got a phone call “from an Apple tech who monitors the boards and he had me install a battery profile on my phone” to create a file of activity. According to the tech, it’s a software issue. “Tonight I will speak to him again and send the file the profile is creating. Hopefully, this gets resolved quickly.”

One of the baffling aspects to the problem is its lack of consistency. “This also doesn’t happen every time,” posted another user, Grayum Baker. “For example, I was home all day yesterday and my battery worked normally. Then, last evening it started draining almost 1% every minute or two. I read an article earlier in the day that recommended Reset All Settings and force quitting all active background apps. I did that late last evening and still had the problem. I turned off Siri. Still draining. At bedtime I turned the phone off while recharging. This morning the battey seems to be normal again.”

Some users stumbled on apparent solutions. TracyLynnT deleted her Facebook account from the iOS 6 integrated Facebook feature in Settings. “I started thinking that since the FB integration updates your contacts and calendar it is probably constantly receiving data,” she wrote. “My battery seems to be back to normal after doing that.”

Another, annafromcapon bridge, said she logged out of her Facebook app, and “turned off all the iCloud stuff except for ‘Find My Iphone’ and my battery is back to normal. Now I access FB using the Chrome browser. I leave Safari off most of the time (unless is autoloads when I click on a link in an email, for example). My notifications and location settings were already at a minimum. I also drained the battery and then charged it overnight. Battery is back to the way it was before IOS 6 update.”

But those kinds of “fixes” had other users grumbling. ChicagoBubba noted that he was now routinely turning off Cellular Data to conserve battery. “I see many people are willing to just shut things off freely, and I can’t understand any justification for doing so,” he wrote. “Why buy an iPhone just to cripple it and say you only text and make calls anyway? In that case these people might be better off with a simple flip phone.”

“I found something that “works” but it’s not really a fix and is really really annoying,” posted Resterix, who with his wife and a friend all had factory-unlocked iPhone 4S models. “If I turn off 3g and cellular data, and then do a hard restart of the phone, we can go all day and only lose about 15% of battery life. Once I turn 3g or cellular data on, even with all apps closed, we’ll lose 1% every 3-5 minutes on standby.”

He describes a maddeningly manual sequence of events: “So, if i’m out and want to use data, I have to go into settings, turn on 3g and cellular data. Do the thing I wanted to do. Then, go back into settings, turn off 3g and cellular and then do a hard restart.. I am thinking it has something to do with the factory unlocked iphones, as my friends who have carrier locked phones don’t seem to have any battery issues.”

12 Comments

12 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. jibran says:

    i upgrade my iphone 3gs to i0s6 after upgrading my phone betttery goes drain fast and phone also goes off many times

  2. k says:

    I can’t believe APPLE has NOT addressed this issue or even acknowledges the fact. All iphone 4s users are experiencing excessive battery drain due to who knows what? APPLE please take action immediately.

  3. Rajendra says:

    It’s a disaster for io6. I was happy with iOS 5 where I use to charge once in a week. Now with iOS 6 I have to charge everyday. I want to use iOS 5. I don’t feel like using this iPad now.

  4. Pam Burns says:

    Since the upgrade to the IOS 6, the funtioning of my iphone 4 is not good, to say the least! The battery is being killed , it’s freezing up and it even lost service and wasnt restored until i turned it off and on. Is there a way to have the IOS 5 back? Not Happy!

  5. Charles Waterton says:

    After installing IOS6 a few days ago, my iPhone 4S has suddenly started draining its battery! What’s going on? How can I get IOS5 back?

  6. Artisanau says:

    I brought two new I-pads on the basis of much reading on the web and was initially delighted with the product even though it can’t be used to watch various catch up tv content . IOS5 worked well no complaints, impressed, enjoyable to play with, lived up to the hype.
    After downloading the recommended IOS6 update, I’m now fed up with the things and regret buying them. If I had more technical knowledge about software, hardware etc I’d probably be able to accept the faults I’m experiencing due to the fact I’d know how to get around them, I don’t and I feel robbed by Apple. Can’t help thinking my cash would have been better spent elsewhere?

  7. Andy Bogard says:

    Got rid of my iphone 5 and got a Samsung note 2. Battery last for 35 days and everything is smooth as butter! Screen my nit exactly be retina quality, but is is as good as it needs to be. Couldn’t be happier.

  8. Rahul says:

    Hey guys I have been having the same problem ie battery drains out within hours. Last night, I fully charged my 4s but by the morning it was dead. I also noticed that when I deactivated my 3G, everything works fine. IOS6 sucks!!!! Hopefully apple resolves the problem otherwise I have to switch to s3.

  9. Bambara says:

    since upgrade husband’s phone overheating and battery dead in less than 8 hours and it was not being used ! Also keep loosing Wi Fi connection….. Defaults to 3G what a surprise we got when the ph account arrived
    Will not replace with another apple phone if solution cannot be found

  10. Sean says:

    iS06 sucks, my battery drains in just a few hours after being fully charged. Apple need to fix the issue!

  11. trish says:

    Same issue with the battery draining. looks to be the io6 upgrade as my husband’s ipad doesn’t drain the battery and he’s still at io5. Apple definitely needs to address this issue – I won’t be getting the ipad 3 or iphone until this is resolved. Very frustrating to have the battery die after 1-2 hours of use.

  12. Brian Legg says:

    I upgraded my iPhone to IOS6 this morning. The GOOGLE calender that we are all using as our family diary was wiped clean. Can it be recovered?

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